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Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together

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A smart and concise guide to staying together that draws on scientific findings, expert advice, and years in the marital trenches to explain why marriage is better for your health, your finances, your kids, and your happiness Like you, probably, Belinda Luscombe would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was o A smart and concise guide to staying together that draws on scientific findings, expert advice, and years in the marital trenches to explain why marriage is better for your health, your finances, your kids, and your happiness Like you, probably, Belinda Luscombe would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was obvious, useless, or bad. Plus they were boring. But after covering the relationship beat for Time magazine for ten years, she realized there was a surprisingly upbeat and little-known story to tell about the benefits of staying together for the long haul. Casting a witty, candid, and probing eye on the latest behavioral science, Luscombe has written a fresh and persuasive report on the state of our unions, how they've changed from the marriages of our parents' era, and what those changes mean for the happiness of this most intimate and important of our relationships. In Marriageology Luscombe examines the six major fault lines that can fracture contemporary marriages, also known as the F-words: familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help. She presents facts, debunks myths, and provides a fascinating mix of research, anecdotes, and wisdom from a wide range of approaches--from how properly dividing up chores can result in a better sex life to the benefits of fighting with your spouse (though not in the car) to whether or not to tell your partner that you lost $70,000. (The last one is from firsthand experience.) Marriageology offers simple, actionable, maybe even borderline fun techniques and tips to try, whether the relationship in question is about to conk out or just needs a little grease and an oil change. The best news of all is that sticking together is easier than it looks. Praise for Marriageology "Few things are more important than the quality of our relationships--and especially the one we build with our life partners. Belinda Luscombe has written a smart and funny book to help anyone work toward a stronger and more fulfilling marriage."--Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org "I'd recommend this book to anyone who is married. Or thinking of getting married. Or knows anyone who is married. Or who is simply interested in getting along with other human beings. Belinda Luscombe combines science, memoir, and sharp wit in this fascinating and useful book. She takes on myths about everything from soul mates to finance to going to bed angry (her advice: Do it!). Skip the gravy boat and give this as a gift to all your engaged friends."--A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically


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A smart and concise guide to staying together that draws on scientific findings, expert advice, and years in the marital trenches to explain why marriage is better for your health, your finances, your kids, and your happiness Like you, probably, Belinda Luscombe would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was o A smart and concise guide to staying together that draws on scientific findings, expert advice, and years in the marital trenches to explain why marriage is better for your health, your finances, your kids, and your happiness Like you, probably, Belinda Luscombe would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was obvious, useless, or bad. Plus they were boring. But after covering the relationship beat for Time magazine for ten years, she realized there was a surprisingly upbeat and little-known story to tell about the benefits of staying together for the long haul. Casting a witty, candid, and probing eye on the latest behavioral science, Luscombe has written a fresh and persuasive report on the state of our unions, how they've changed from the marriages of our parents' era, and what those changes mean for the happiness of this most intimate and important of our relationships. In Marriageology Luscombe examines the six major fault lines that can fracture contemporary marriages, also known as the F-words: familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help. She presents facts, debunks myths, and provides a fascinating mix of research, anecdotes, and wisdom from a wide range of approaches--from how properly dividing up chores can result in a better sex life to the benefits of fighting with your spouse (though not in the car) to whether or not to tell your partner that you lost $70,000. (The last one is from firsthand experience.) Marriageology offers simple, actionable, maybe even borderline fun techniques and tips to try, whether the relationship in question is about to conk out or just needs a little grease and an oil change. The best news of all is that sticking together is easier than it looks. Praise for Marriageology "Few things are more important than the quality of our relationships--and especially the one we build with our life partners. Belinda Luscombe has written a smart and funny book to help anyone work toward a stronger and more fulfilling marriage."--Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org "I'd recommend this book to anyone who is married. Or thinking of getting married. Or knows anyone who is married. Or who is simply interested in getting along with other human beings. Belinda Luscombe combines science, memoir, and sharp wit in this fascinating and useful book. She takes on myths about everything from soul mates to finance to going to bed angry (her advice: Do it!). Skip the gravy boat and give this as a gift to all your engaged friends."--A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

30 review for Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together

  1. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    Marriageology was such a fascinating read on marriage and long term relationships. Luscombe's writing was approachable with the perfect mix of scientific research, personal stories, and advice. I found myself nodding along so many times with her anecdotes regarding her own marriage history. She shares a wonderful perspective that is relatable yet also hopeful. Her ability to share the hardships of some of the biggest stumbling blocks of marriage was super accessible. She points out the 6 major Marriageology was such a fascinating read on marriage and long term relationships. Luscombe's writing was approachable with the perfect mix of scientific research, personal stories, and advice. I found myself nodding along so many times with her anecdotes regarding her own marriage history. She shares a wonderful perspective that is relatable yet also hopeful. Her ability to share the hardships of some of the biggest stumbling blocks of marriage was super accessible. She points out the 6 major "fault lines" that can fracture a marriage and how to navigate them personally and as a couple. Like many non-fiction books, certain chapters stood out to me more and I especially connected with the commentary and research she shared in the parenting section, it was spot on. I also am so happy she talked about how helpful therapy can be, and not just at times of serious distress but also as a regular practice. I learned so much from this book and I highly recommend it for anyone that is navigating a long term relationship. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leah Hester

    Got the audiobook on Audible, and deeply enjoyed the book and its authors fun, interesting take on marriage, how its changed, and how to make it last. I'm probably still considered a newlywed by most people (at the time of reading, I've been married for two and a half years) and I come from a family with a lot of divorcees. It's literally always felt like my job to have a damn good marriage lol. Luscombe is fantastically entertaining while also sharing real situations that spouses go through and Got the audiobook on Audible, and deeply enjoyed the book and its authors fun, interesting take on marriage, how its changed, and how to make it last. I'm probably still considered a newlywed by most people (at the time of reading, I've been married for two and a half years) and I come from a family with a lot of divorcees. It's literally always felt like my job to have a damn good marriage lol. Luscombe is fantastically entertaining while also sharing real situations that spouses go through and the research behind why those situations happen, as well as the best tools to fix them, or potentially recover from them. I listened to this super quick, and plan to incorporate some of her tools. She notes, and I will also note, that this is not a source for therapy help, but gives advice and tools for, largely, keeping communication up in the changing and unique relationship that is a long term marriage. This was entertaining, insightful, and thought-provoking, and I recommend for anyone who is married, wants to get married, or isn't married but just wants to learn about marriage in a fun, interesting way. I highly recommend the audio version, as the author herself gives the reading in the best possible way.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Casey Frank

    Thank you Random House for gifting me a copy of this book. As this book points out, marriage has changed over the years, and what was once more of an economical decision- a necessary choice in financial stability and family-rearing, is now one that comes with greater expectations of happiness and emotional intimacy. Which is why books like this are nice, concise way of shoring up those emotional needs. And it's done with a degree of humor. I liked that the book cited a lot of oth Thank you Random House for gifting me a copy of this book. As this book points out, marriage has changed over the years, and what was once more of an economical decision- a necessary choice in financial stability and family-rearing, is now one that comes with greater expectations of happiness and emotional intimacy. Which is why books like this are nice, concise way of shoring up those emotional needs. And it's done with a degree of humor. I liked that the book cited a lot of other studies and texts, allowing for a greater sample of information without needing to sit down with each academic piece. Though I am reading Come As You Are at the moment, and appreciated the brief summary of accelerators and breaks included in Luscombe's book. The only section that I personally didn't find to be helpful was "Family" because it was focused on raising children, which thus far, my husband and I have continued to choose to not have. I think one of the pieces that should have been included in this section is parents as establishing communication about expectations in handling aging parents is also a big component of many marriages, if not to the same degree of complications as raising children. The familiarity section was probably the one that held the most new material for me, or rather I may have felt more attuned to the idea as my husband and I have been in a relationship since I was 19 years old, and of the almost 15 years we've been together we've been married for six of those years, which means we're definitely living in some familiar territory and could benefit from tools to best navigate this familiarity. Overall I think this book could be a great book to give newlyweds to help set some expectations, and to help build the idea that it's better to do the maintenance work along the course of the partnership than to have to go and seek outside help once everything has gone wrong.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Oliver George

    This was a really nice read -- it was quick and easy to read. The author provided some specific ways to increase communication and she did it with a sense of quirky humor. I'm not sure how helpful this would be for a marriage already in crisis. If your marriage is fine and you are just looking for "maintenance" reading, I would recommend this. I picked it up primarily just to learn some techniques for better communication in my own marriage and that's exactly what I got.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I am a big fan of reading about marriage (and other topics) while things are going well. I feel like at moments like these, I am open to learning and receiving because I am not constantly triggered by what I might be upset about. So all potential ideas feel like options I can try out and use to strengthen my marriage. This book has both anecdotal stories and academic research and statistics. I would say that if your marriage is in trouble and you're reading this book for ideas, the tone might th I am a big fan of reading about marriage (and other topics) while things are going well. I feel like at moments like these, I am open to learning and receiving because I am not constantly triggered by what I might be upset about. So all potential ideas feel like options I can try out and use to strengthen my marriage. This book has both anecdotal stories and academic research and statistics. I would say that if your marriage is in trouble and you're reading this book for ideas, the tone might throw you off a bit. It's funny and jokey, not in a bad way but it might rub you the wrong way if you're hurting or angry. For me, I enjoyed this reminder of several different areas to pay attention to in my marriage and to always keep working on it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This is an interesting catalogue of a bunch of other marriage advice books. I always think it's better to go to the source. In this case, try Esther Parel, Gottman, Alain Botton, etc.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kayle Barnes

    Wish I had read this before I got married, but glad I discovered it when I did. Luscombe is funny and blunt and treats Marriage with both importance and irreverence.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vlad

    Hilarious, frank, reasonable. A bit broad, splashing about in the shallows rather than going deep on any one of its topics, from sex to child-rearing to arguing well. Good survey.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Marriageology by Belinda Luscombe is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-May. I had chosen to read this book while being in a long-term relationship after a divorce from my first husband eight years ago, so I have a touch-and-go history with being in a serious, monogamous partnership. This book brings up topics and concepts, like questioning yourself and admitting guilt & weakness at the end of a relationship, only to have to build up another from the very beginning, committing strongl Marriageology by Belinda Luscombe is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-May. I had chosen to read this book while being in a long-term relationship after a divorce from my first husband eight years ago, so I have a touch-and-go history with being in a serious, monogamous partnership. This book brings up topics and concepts, like questioning yourself and admitting guilt & weakness at the end of a relationship, only to have to build up another from the very beginning, committing strongly to an informed choice, and seeking permanency amid a world that changes quickly and hangs onto things for only a short while. Luscombe draws research from ten years writing about marriage for Time magazine - this leads to nuggets to sociological truths buried under heaps of down-to-earth prattle and a pun, sarcasm, motto, or punchline every few sentences.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Forbes

    Best book on marriage I’ve read to date.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyne

    This book is solidly sourced with evidence-based research, but it isn't dry by any means. Luscombe has a great sense of humor that had me nodding my head and chuckling throughout the book. She helps break down the fault lines in a six-part alliteration that is easy to follow. I appreciated the marriage of a sociological and therapeutic approach, as well as her personal anecdotes relating the science to her her marriage, which helped tie in the research and advice to real life examples. Her crede This book is solidly sourced with evidence-based research, but it isn't dry by any means. Luscombe has a great sense of humor that had me nodding my head and chuckling throughout the book. She helps break down the fault lines in a six-part alliteration that is easy to follow. I appreciated the marriage of a sociological and therapeutic approach, as well as her personal anecdotes relating the science to her her marriage, which helped tie in the research and advice to real life examples. Her credentials speak for themselves and allow you as a reader to relax into the material trusting the advice is coming from a true expert, and Luscombe, I'm totally on your side about Armstrong! [I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Random House Publishing for my honest review.]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    I'm not really one to read self help type books, but I saw this book and thought, why not give it a try. I sure am happy that I did! This book is written in a way that makes it both informative (with statistics and research) and also relate-able (with personal admissions and stories from the author). I feel like this book also offers some great tips and advice on how to achieve a happier union (which who doesn't want that!).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jt O'Neill

    It's funny. When my spouse and I first got together a generation plus ago, we'd both had plenty of life experience. We both had graduate degrees, had worked successfully in our chosen fields, and had had romances and adventures. We considered ourselves people savvy. In retrospect, we were pretty cocky, thinking we knew how this whole marriage business was going to go. How bold, brave, and naive we were! In the introduction to Marriageology, Belinda Luscombe astutely points out the absurdity of h It's funny. When my spouse and I first got together a generation plus ago, we'd both had plenty of life experience. We both had graduate degrees, had worked successfully in our chosen fields, and had had romances and adventures. We considered ourselves people savvy. In retrospect, we were pretty cocky, thinking we knew how this whole marriage business was going to go. How bold, brave, and naive we were! In the introduction to Marriageology, Belinda Luscombe astutely points out the absurdity of how our culture celebrates marriage. There are all these special and exciting traditions for the early years of marriage but they taper off at 15 years where the gift is crystal, and then china at 20 yrs, and pearls at 30 years (which likely means that a man in the relationship does the giving and not the receiving). As Belinda says, this is all turned around. Any fool can be married for a year and you can get to three years on the fumes of the honeymoon alone. The marriage is challenged in those years when the wedding day memories are all stashed behind the kids' whining, the emails and calls from the bosses, childcare fails, the spouse's incessantly loud chewing, the financial failures and disagreements, the pressure from in-laws and the opinions from family -- when the wedding day excitement has tempered and the daily life has taken over. The thing is you just can't know this part of life. You haven't been there yet. Like my spouse and I, you might think you can plan a wedding and keep that wonderful, excited feeling that you have found a friend for life. At that point you are walking mostly on air and assuming that the climate will not change. But, guess what? Everything changes. Life changes people and certainly marriage changes people. You just can't know at the beginning how those changes are going to go. You haven't had this experience with this partner. No matter what your experience has been, no matter how well intentioned, I guarantee you things will change. It's how you deal with the change that will make all the difference in the marriage. I enjoyed reading Marriageology. Belinda's book is well researched and documented and could read like a textbook. Instead, though, it reads like a good friend, someone who is sitting with you over margaritas and nachos. She has important things to say but they come encased in warmth and a sense of humor. She's been there and she is willing to tell her stories too. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is married or even thinking of getting married. I like that Belinda believes in marriage. That is not to say that she is down on divorce but more to say that her hope and faith in the institution shine through. Toward the end she draws a comparison to a carousel: "What we often need [to sustain a marriage] is a carousel mentality; sometimes your horse is down, but if you wait awhile, it will rise again." Kudos to Belinda Luscombe for writing an authentic, often humorous, down to earth, and well researched book on a tough topic. 5 stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tangled in Text

    This is a book that I will be rereading and adding to my shelf. Her book is split into six sections and each one had learning moments if you have an issue on that topic or not to make sure there are no weak spots in your marriage. Her book starts with an overview of her six topics "totally coincidentally they're all F words: Familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around (not my original title), and finding help." I'd challenge you to even just listen to her beginning overview because i This is a book that I will be rereading and adding to my shelf. Her book is split into six sections and each one had learning moments if you have an issue on that topic or not to make sure there are no weak spots in your marriage. Her book starts with an overview of her six topics "totally coincidentally they're all F words: Familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around (not my original title), and finding help." I'd challenge you to even just listen to her beginning overview because it had me laughing out loud with her anecdotes that I've also found sad but true in marriage. Anywhere from marriage seems to almost be done in reverse starting it off with this huge party and getaway when you really need that to celebrate lasting even a few years nowadays to these dang themed anniversary presents that seem to be worse and worse ideas every year to the point where they just start skipping years a decade in and they only have an idea every five years then ten years after that! Twenty-six years into marriage I feel like I'll be wanting more of that leather or crystal they recommend at three years instead of just a lousy picture! At twenty-six years in I'll have his face so ingrained in my memory I don't need a dang picture by then. Marriageology was a great overview hitting all my major questions and giving some great references. She referenced several other researchers from Gottman to Emily Nagoski who I finished her book, Come As You Are, earlier this year and loved. I enjoyed getting to hear both a collective input and her own thoughts so I knew what books to pick up next. Great insight, delivery, and it was fun to find some hidden humor among the more serious topics to keep it upbeat and lighter.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I've been married 56 years and it's a little late to seriously consider "The Art and Science of Staying Together." However, I saw the author of this book interviewed one morning, found her amusing and perceptive, and decided to try her book. I'm not a fan of "self help" material, but I enjoyed this view of a subject I know well. Belinda Luscombe has been married a mere 25 years and therefore is comparatively new to the game, but she competently presented a survey of the current theories on the subje I've been married 56 years and it's a little late to seriously consider "The Art and Science of Staying Together." However, I saw the author of this book interviewed one morning, found her amusing and perceptive, and decided to try her book. I'm not a fan of "self help" material, but I enjoyed this view of a subject I know well. Belinda Luscombe has been married a mere 25 years and therefore is comparatively new to the game, but she competently presented a survey of the current theories on the subject and illustrated them with examples from her own personal history. These were both humorous and authentic, bringing to life the abstract concepts offered by therapists and academic sociologists. I laughed as she described her experiences with her husband and children because I easily identified with them. This is a fairly short book. It is not meant as a deep study of marriage but rather as encouragement for couples to persevere in developing, nurturing, and maintaining a permanent relationship with their spouses. It does not attempt to be a substitute for counseling or therapy, and it should not be read with that expectation. Instead, this author is a bit of a cheerleader for couples finding their way through the ups and downs of life. Definitely worth a read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A kind of depressing look at how hard marriage is. Despite having a successful 4 years together, I felt worried reading this about my own relationship. Does everyone have what it takes to be married? You don’t know until you try. I docked it a star because one whole chapter was about how kids affect your marriage. This I already knew and is one of the reasons I am staunchly childfree. I wish there had been more talk about marriages that don’t result in children. I also docked a star b A kind of depressing look at how hard marriage is. Despite having a successful 4 years together, I felt worried reading this about my own relationship. Does everyone have what it takes to be married? You don’t know until you try. I docked it a star because one whole chapter was about how kids affect your marriage. This I already knew and is one of the reasons I am staunchly childfree. I wish there had been more talk about marriages that don’t result in children. I also docked a star because the chapter on sex was not written for alternative sexualities. While heterosexuality was fully discussed and gay/lesbian relationships briefly touched on, there was no mention of asexuality and no talk about how “if each partner is happy with the amount of sex than that’s what really matters, even if that amount is zero”. I ended up skimming the last half of the book and felt pretty depressed upon finishing it. I don’t think I have a lofty view of what marriage is, but I think a lot of people just don’t play nicely and that makes it hard.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

    3.75 stars. This read for me as a well-written marriage advice column (written by a smart, plucky Australian journalist, who was frankly delightful). Ms. Luscombe summarizes prevailing relationship research and views it through the lens of her own long-lasting marriage. Having read a number of the books she cites as source material, I appreciated her interpretations and the down-to-earth way she discussed how these various research-based relationship theories supported, or someti 3.75 stars. This read for me as a well-written marriage advice column (written by a smart, plucky Australian journalist, who was frankly delightful). Ms. Luscombe summarizes prevailing relationship research and views it through the lens of her own long-lasting marriage. Having read a number of the books she cites as source material, I appreciated her interpretations and the down-to-earth way she discussed how these various research-based relationship theories supported, or sometimes contradicted, each other. Her writing (and her narration of the audio book) is entertaining and her candid, funny, judgement-free discussion of so many touchy subjects set an incredibly accessible tone. I did find the recurrent message that the only slam-dunk reason to leave a relationship is if it is physically abusive to be an over simplification, but I also learned quite a few things that probably should have been simpler to see for myself. Overall, I'd sum it up as both broad and insightful, worthwhile for anyone interested in getting some perspective on their relationship.

  18. 5 out of 5

    BriZen

    This is the first book on marriage that I’ve read. I don’t have much for a frame of reference but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was witty and entertaining (I read half and listened to the last half, either way those adjectives apply). It was also packed with useful and relevant information for committed couples at every stage in their relationship. It was a quick read, just over two hundred pages and I think worth the time. If you’re early on in your marriage, it could save you from some hea This is the first book on marriage that I’ve read. I don’t have much for a frame of reference but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was witty and entertaining (I read half and listened to the last half, either way those adjectives apply). It was also packed with useful and relevant information for committed couples at every stage in their relationship. It was a quick read, just over two hundred pages and I think worth the time. If you’re early on in your marriage, it could save you from some heartache, if you’re having trouble it could help shed some light on what to do next. It’s full of great references too, one of which I’ve already started. Pick it up, you won’t regret it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    5 stars just for being a book on marriage that’s actually enjoyable to read! Luscombe is genuinely funny, and her humor and light yet serious treatment of the subject makes it pleasurable to read. I was a little worried that all her personal examples were going to be silly disagreements between her and her husband, but then I got to the chapter where she talks about how they almost got a divorce and went to therapy, and I was gratified that the author is someone who has truly gone through hard t 5 stars just for being a book on marriage that’s actually enjoyable to read! Luscombe is genuinely funny, and her humor and light yet serious treatment of the subject makes it pleasurable to read. I was a little worried that all her personal examples were going to be silly disagreements between her and her husband, but then I got to the chapter where she talks about how they almost got a divorce and went to therapy, and I was gratified that the author is someone who has truly gone through hard times in her marriage and was able to not only make things work, but make them better. That lends her advice a lot more weight, in my opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    This book is written in a very real, funny tone about a very serious topic. I enjoyed the anecdotes and recommendations to other sources. I don’t know that this would be comforting or helpful to someone truly in crisis but I think it’s a good guide on relationships and navigating some of the issues. Its more hopeful than helpful yet it’s a worthwhile read - made me laugh and made me think. I read parts of it out loud to my spouse. I liked the analogy of finding your mate compared with buying a c This book is written in a very real, funny tone about a very serious topic. I enjoyed the anecdotes and recommendations to other sources. I don’t know that this would be comforting or helpful to someone truly in crisis but I think it’s a good guide on relationships and navigating some of the issues. Its more hopeful than helpful yet it’s a worthwhile read - made me laugh and made me think. I read parts of it out loud to my spouse. I liked the analogy of finding your mate compared with buying a car (so did my husband!)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    I bought this as a wife/wedding gift for a friend in her 30’s. I previewed it first (read the whole thing!) since I have been married for 25 years. It took the words (advice and guidance) right out of my mouth. The introduction is engaging. It is down to earth, easy to read in a day and practical. Breaks it right down to the six important “Fs” in a marriage: familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help. I am adding this book to my list for anyone who gets married.

  22. 4 out of 5

    vanessa

    A light and humorous take on communication in marriage, with topics like money, children, sex, etc. The author uses her experience as someone who has been married for 25 years to share her communication woes and how her and her husband fixed them. This comes from a very specific perspective (hetero, monogamous, white, middle class) but I still learned some tips and liked the perspective of the author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Got through about half of it, and realized I'd read enough. Luscombe is definitely an entertaining writer, I just had other books I wanted to read more. And honestly, I've read a few John Gottman books, who's the famed marriage researcher, and I thought his recommendations about creating a healthy marriage were as useful as anything I'd read. So much of this seemed repetitive. A good read, just not in the mood to complete it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mws

    Very interesting, funny and engaging. Making a pile of research papers and long-running academic studies highly accessible, Belinda Luscombe outlines how long marriages go the distance and the kind of thoughtful reflection and action necessary to make marriages rich, strong and enduring. An important, encouraging and thoughtful read - with lots to laugh about and reflect on as you go.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hana

    I adored this book. Accessible, witty, and a darn good and concise overview of the key points from many of the other (much longer) relationship books I own. The info is scientifically based but not clinical, relatable through tales of the authors own F ups, and overall hopeful that this thing (marriage) we have is pretty great and it is totally within our power to keep it that way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ghaida Moussa

    Got this one on audio. I really appreciate the author’s open sharing of her own relationship and examples from her life. Super hetero and normative, and very “evidence-based” in an annoying medicalization of human behaviour way, but there are some interesting and helpful discussions and tips. Worth a read with this caveat.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nate Hawthorne

    3.5 stars. Not that my marriage is in trouble, but it is good to have strategies to make sure nothing bad happens. It is pretty straightforward and common sense. The chapter about fighting gave insight on the reasons we defend our positions. Told in an accessible and humorous way, there is something for everyone to relate to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    With chapters on familiarity,fighting,finances,family,fooling around,and finding help: you can't go wrong with this book. I especially loved the chapter on familiarity,and the three dozen questions for intimacy.Whether you have been married for 50 years,or still dating.....value your relationship by studying up on marriage.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hayley Jones

    Jen Hatmaker recommended this book, so I read this book. The author, Belinda Luscombe, covers relationships for Time Magazine and does a great job combining behavioral science, research, and humorous life experiences in this fun and quick read on the challenges and benefits of marriage and how to keep yours healthy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Monica Pasillas

    Something inside me doesn't want this book to influence/affect my marriage life since it's my very first 'marriage' book I've read, but I learned some very interested facts along the way. And surprisingly I already knew some, but not quite given them the 'hard thought' they deserved. Do recommend this book though.

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